In Response to: Pranks for the memories

As a chemistry Ph.D. candidate (entering in 1962), I was taking a qualifying exam in the southeast corner of Frick Lab the day they moved the Woodrow Wilson School building back 100 yards to make room for the new Yamasaki-designed building for public affairs. The clanging of shim removal from the rails accompanied our entire exam.

Eventually, in front of the new building (the design was condemned since it seemed to be a carbon copy of other Yamasaki buildings, including the Federal Reserve building in Minneapolis), a magnificent pool and fountain were built. The fountain superstructure was a large, naturally rusted abstract metal sculpture. It didn’t take long for the pranksters to strike.

Occurring during Reunions weekends, two pranks come to mind from the mid-60s. One morning, the water was a brilliant purple, the color reminiscent of potassium permanganate (after all, it was next door to the chemistry building). Another time, a fair amount of detergent was poured in overnight, turning the pool into a massive bed of foam. The fountain was turned off, but the “damage” already had been done. Hoses were brought out in an attempt to rinse the foam down the drains. The force of the hoses tore off chunks of the sudsy foam, wafted into the air by the freshening breeze.

Robert E. “Bob” Buntrock *67